A childhood spent dreaming about traveling the world and having adventures turned into a reality for a grown-up Andrea. With over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, Andrea’s passion is helping her clients plan their next adventure, with a focus on Africa.

Her own adventures are the basis for her client consultations. Her travels in Africa so far include Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, and Uganda. She’s done mobile camping safaris and stayed in luxury lodges. Walking, boating, day and night game drives, scenic flights, fishing, swimming – she’s done it – even riding camels, sledding down sand dunes, and dancing with the Samburu. She’s seen the Big Five and the Ugly Five, but her prize wildlife sighting was a pangolin! In addition, she’s tracked black rhinos on foot, hiked to see mountain gorillas, and sampled local cuisines, washed down with local brews, of course! But her favorite safari experience is being in the bush, sitting around a fire, a glass of Amarula in hand, chatting with guides or fellow travelers, and falling asleep in a tent to the sounds of lions roaring in the distance.

What aspect of travel do you enjoy the most?

I like those moments – big and small — where you think, I can’t believe I’m doing/seeing this or how do I explain this to someone? The thrill of having a gorilla sit practically next to me or a manatee rolling on its side so I could scratch its thick skin while I was snorkeling. The smell of fresh elephant dung. The sounds of hyenas whooping it up at night. Figuring out the steps and rhthyms of a traditional Samburu dance or discussing cycling races with the locals in a Belgian pub. Crawling around only inches from ancient rock paintings in Western Arnhem Land or courting a hummingbird attracted by my colorful shirt while I was hiking in New Mexico – those moments can last a lifetime. They make for great stories and are best shared with others.

Sometimes it’s difficult for me to convey to first-time clients to Africa what it’s like to go on safari, for example, because it’s more than just looking at an animal. It’s just one of those things that has to be experienced in order to be understood, because there are no words or pictures that can truly convey the sounds, the smells, the feelings that go with it. While I enjoy designing trips to enable my clients to have those moments, I love it when they come home and share them with me!

What is one thing you would never travel without?

Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat), because here are few things more painful and embarrassing than a sunburn, particularly for a fair-skinned person!

What has been your most life-changing travel experience?

My first overseas trip. In high school, I spent a month abroad in Spain, traveling around the country, seeing places I had read about, practicing my Spanish, discovering new foods, and living with a family. Not only did it fuel my interest in travel and learning about other cultures, but it gave me insights into my own culture, which was an unexpected and much appreciated lesson.

What has traveling taught you about yourself?

I’ve learned to be flexible and more patient; sometimes “going with the flow” leads to better outcomes than sweating the small stuff or the things you can’t control. Especially when traveling in countries in Africa, where the unpredictable happens – vehicles get stuck in the mud, flights are delayed, heavy rains or power outages disrupt plans, wildlife refuses to cooperate with a schedule – instead of labeling these events as good or bad, I’ve learned to consider them all as part of the adventure. Although I pack light, I make sure to bring an abundance of patience, and it has served me well wherever I travel.

What is your favorite destination, and why?

I can’t answer that! How do you choose, when every place is unique in its own way and has something to offer? In Africa, it’s usually the last place I’ve visited and the next place I plan to visit.

Have questions? We can help!

From expedition cruises to Antarctica to heritage discovery tours to Scandinavia, our Destination Specialists know how to design exclusive experiences all while delivering exceptional service. Call Borton Overseas today at 800-843-0602 or contact us online.